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Opinions of Saturday, 31 July 2021

Columnist: Joel Savage

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, do you really care about Ghanaians in the Diaspora?

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, your call recently to Ghanaians in the Diaspora to come help build Ghana and the appeal to pay 100 GHC monthly to finance the Cathedral project, doesn’t only reveal your lack of integrity and empathy but also respect for the common Ghanaians.

As the Finance Minister, before any intelligent Ghanaian in the Diaspora will answer to call you, I will first ask you - what has your family or the entire NPP administration, under the tyrant Nana Akufo Addo done for Ghanaians at home and those living outside the country?

In Ghana, if you are not an Akyem, you tribal bigots have no respect for other ethnic groups in the country. A country can never be built on the foundation of nepotism, I said this many times in my articles. The collapse of Ghana today is clear evidence.

Like many of the Ghanaian politicians, Nana Akufo Addo on many occasions had made passionate calls to Ghanaians in the Diaspora to come home and help build the country.

We know that as Ghanaians, it’s our responsibility to build our country but if I may ask you, what has the Ghanaian government done for Ghanaians in the Diaspora since the NPP took over the country’s administration about five years ago?

“Ghanaians in the Diaspora play a role in sustaining Ghana’s economy, yet nobody cares about them”- this is the title of one of my articles published by ‘Ghanaweb’ on March 8, 2021.

Instead, of the government getting rid of the corruption that has taken over the country, customs duties are inflated at the ports, making it impossible for Ghanaians in the Diaspora to set businesses in Ghana.

Imagine the hardships Ghanaians in the Diaspora pass through each day in foreign countries, as they work very hard to provide for their families in Ghana. Yet, at the harbors, they can’t even take delivery of their own property.

Customs duties have been inflated over 300%, making it impossible for them to clear their goods.

They pay between $6,000 to $7,000 for a car purchased at $2,500, and if they can’t pay the high taxation on goods brought into the country, the Ghana Ports & Harbors Authority sells their goods at auction with the lowest bid to the politicians.

Such problems were already in existence during the NDC administration but the problem became worse when the NPP government took over.

Ken Ofori-Atta, as a Finance Minister, you should have been the first intelligent Ghanaian politician in the NPP’s administration to solve this, yet you ignored them.

The latest problem Ghanaians in the Diaspora are facing in the country is the COVID-19 test frauds at the Kotoka International Airport.

Health Officials at the airport now prey on Ghanaians in the Diaspora holding foreign passports, falsely accusing them of having the coronavirus even though they are fully vaccinated and have followed the medical rules prior to their departure.

Can you please, tell me, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, if you don’t know what is going on at the airport to solve the problem?

Do you know that there are so many containers at the port with rotten goods just because Ghanaians in the Diaspora couldn't clear because of high customs tax?

When you were sick, you left the country to seek medical care in a foreign country, don’t you agree with me that it is better for Ghanaians to build a modern standard hospital in the country than a Cathedral?

You are a very bad man like many Ghanaian politicians psychologically scarred by corruption. Seek medical attention in the country to purify your brain, which can help you to make better decisions.